A New Princess Zee Ghost Story Spin-Off

I’m currently working on Princess Zee Comes To America, which is mostly about life in Jamaica while waiting to immigrate. The moral theme is perseverance during the long immigration process, which can often feel unfair, and how a good character makes someone genuinely royal.

One of my daughter’s favorite memories is telling ghost stories by flashlight when the lights go out after an electrical surge. I naturally segue into the ghost stories and I use the section to reinforce the central moral theme about royal character by relating that idea to the story of the White Witch of Rose Hall.

Despite not being completely disconnected, this three-page section still felt like a dramatic departure from the rest of the book. Like it was a different story within the main story. It also didn’t help that the imagery I’d already created for the Rollin’ Calf (seen above) and the White Witch is scary, which could be considered an unpleasant scary change in tone by parents who were not expecting ghost stories based on the cover and title.

As such, I decided today to spin off this ghost story into its own full-length book, Princess Zee and the White Witch: A Ghost Story Based On Jamaican Folklore. The current book will still briefly reference this ghost story in one stanza, but I trimmed back the poetry so it’s completely focused on the moral theme.

The future book will have the kids telling the tale of Princess Zee traveling through the Jamaican countryside to reach the Grand House near Montego Bay. She’ll run into obstacles like the Rollin’ Calf and other Duppies. In order to maintain the light-hearted tone of the Princess Zee series/collection the older brother’s storytelling will often be comically interrupted by the younger siblings.

I’m hoping that older kids will enjoy a light horror story. I know I will enjoy writing and illustrating this new vision. Stay tuned!

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